Kumiyama, Olenchuk are the 2018-19 Lexington Chronicle Athletes of the Year
The 2019-20 school year Lexington Chronicle Male and Female Athletes of the Year share common traits.
Both played two sports and were vital to their respective team’s successes.
Each earned All-State honors in at least 1 of their respective sports and also finished the school year with state championship rings.
Such went the past 10 months for this school year’s honorees - Hannah Kumiyama of Lexington High and Ty Olenchuk of Dutch Fork High.
A year ago, the California transplant was mostly an observer as she recovered from knee surgery.
Once Kumiyama got back into the flow as a senior, she was a major spark plug for the girls’ basketball and softball teams.
During the winter, Kumiyama played a point forward role for the Region 5-5A champion Lady Wildcats.
Playing alongside another future University of South Carolina commit in another sport and Class 5A Basketball Player of the Year Olivia Thompson, Kumiyama was 2nd on the team in assists (3.4) and points (7) and 3rd in points (6.7).
Lexington finished the school year with a 24-5 record. Her play helped the Lady Wildcats end a 40-year drought in reaching the Lower State final.
Kumiyama achieved even greater success in her primary sport. On a state championship team filled with sluggers, Kumiyama was among the most feared hitters in the Lady Wildcats’ lineup as the numbers show:
Batting Average - .581
On-Base Percentage - .636
Slugging Percentage - 1.355
Hits - 54
Singles - 18
Doubles - 17
Home runs - 17
RBI - 47
Runs - 52
Walks - 14
Kumiyama also showed a penchant for making plays from the outfield. During the post-season, she threw out an Ashley Ridge base runner at 1st base from right field during the Class 5A Lower State final.
In addition to homering in the deciding game of the Best-of-3 state final against J.F. Byrnes, resulting in intentional walks the remaidner of the game, Kumiyama had a critical put out throw from right field to 3rd base to help preserve the 6-5 victory and 1st state title since 2001.
“Hannah was instrumental in the teams success this season,” head coach Laurie Epps said. “She helped motivate and encourage her teammates all season long.
"Hannah believed in her teammates and really stayed focused on the team goals and stayed humble. I’m excited to watch her play at the next level.”
Fittingly, Kumiyama closed out her high school career last week by winning MVP honors at the Coaches Association of Women’s Sports All-Star game.
It was a “dream year” for the future Clemson University pitcher who began and ended it with gold.
As the starting quarterback for the 3-time Class 5A champion Silver Foxes, Olenchuk was the lead conductor for arguably the best high school football team in school history.
Playing behind an offensive line which gave up just 8 sacks the entire season, Olenchuk ripped opposing defenses on a weekly basis. The Silver Foxes averaged 59.3 points and 545 yards per game in posting a 15-0 record for the 2nd time in 3 years.
Olenchuk’s final numbers were equally impressive:
3,804 passing yards
50 total touchdowns (42 passing, 8 rushing)
221.74 passer rating
After a spring respite, Olenchuk was back on the playing field. This time, he was on the mound for the Silver Foxes competing in the Palmetto State’s best high school baseball division Region 5-5A.
Dutch Fork ended up finishing 3rd in the regular season. The Silver Foxes then showed resiliency in winning 4 elimination games enroute to claiming its first-ever Class 5A title.
Olenchuk finished the year with a 7-1 record, 1.33 ERA and 68 strikeouts while batting .309.
“Ty has a gifted arm that enables him to be a gifted pitcher and a blue chip quarterback,” Dutch Fork head coach and athletics director Tom Knotts said. “He also has a very high sports IQ.
"Add to the arm and the smarts a fierce competitive personality and the result is a player that can lead 2 teams to state championships.”
JAMISON WINS NATIONAL HONOR
The awards keep on coming for last year’s Lexington Chronicle Female Co-Athlete of the Year Jayla Jamison.
The rising sophomore at Airport High School was named the girls’ SC Gatorade Track and Field athlete of the year June 20.
She was the 1st Midlands athlete to win the award since 2006. She won 4 events at the SC High School League track and field championships for the 2nd straight year. This year, she set the Class 4A record in the 200 meters and claimed gold in the 100 and 400 meters and long jump.
Most recently, Jamison placed 3rd in the 100, 200 and long jump at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.
"I always say Jayla never ceases to amaze me, and this is just another example,” Airport High coach Travis Barnes said. “I feel so fortunate to be part of her journey and to be able to work with a world-class athlete like Jayla on a daily basis. I am so proud of her for winning the SC Gatorade Player of the Year. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for any athlete, and for someone her age it is almost unheard of.
“This is another of a long list of firsts for her, because the best is still to come.”